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Things to do in Melbourne

Things to do in  Melbourne

Welcome to Melbourne

Long in competition with Sydney for the title of Australia’s cultural capital, Melbourne is often the people’s choice, consistently topping the list of the world’s most livable cities. There’s a lot to love, from its melting pot of inhabitants and distinctly European ambience, to its brunch scene, art galleries, and nightlife. Global audiences fill coveted seats at the Arts Centre Melbourne and sporting temples like Melbourne Cricket Ground and Etihad Stadium. But it’s not just about arts and sports. The very essence of Melbourne lies in its neighborhoods. Discover the city’s coolest bars and eateries tucked away in the CBD’s narrow laneways; shop in flashy South Yarra or along Fitzroy’s hipster Brunswick Street; or stroll the sandy beaches of St. Kilda, just a few miles outside the city. And only a day trip away are the Yarra Valley wine region, Mornington Peninsula, and Great Ocean Road.

Top 15 attractions in Melbourne

Great Ocean Road

One of the world's most famous driving routes, Victoria's Great Ocean Road offers scenic surprises at every fork in the road. In signature Australian style, endless stretches of white sandy beaches are flanked by dense pockets of rain forest, charming coastal towns, and canopies populated by koalas.More

Yarra River

The Yarra River winds its way through Melbourne’s Central Business District (CBD) plus a number of suburbs. In the city, bars, restaurants, and parks thrive along its banks, bringing locals and tourists together. Numerous festivals and sporting events take place on the Yarra, including the famous Moomba Festival and rowing regattas.More

Twelve Apostles

Situated right at the end of Victoria’s Great Ocean Road, the Twelve Apostles are a set of eight rock formations—there used to be twelve—jutting out of the Southern Ocean. These limestone pillars were once connected to the nearby cliffs but have been eroded away into caves, pillars, and arches from the harsh conditions of the ocean.More

Loch Ard Gorge

The Great Ocean Road is one Victoria’s most naturally stunning sights, and Loch Ard Gorge is a dramatic highlight of an already dramatic journey. It was at this spot in 1878 where a ship carrying settlers from England to Melbourne was tragically wrecked on the rocks. Of the 54 passengers aboard the ship only two of the passengers survived—a teenage boy who heroically rescued a fellow teenage girl. After spending the night in a coastal sea cave, the duo found help with local settlers after scaling the rugged cliffs. Today those cliffs have a set of stairs that lead to the golden sands, where a protected beach is tucked beneath the towering, time-sculpted bluffs. Though the weather can be spectacularly stormy in winter, summer days are an invitation for picnicking, swimming, and sunbathing, and the striated cliffs form a natural amphitheater of coastal beauty around you. The gorge is located just a ten minute drive from the famous Twelve Apostles, which are arguably the most popular and visited site on Australia’s Great Ocean Road. At the top of the cliffs above the gorge, a modest cemetery has a memorial dedicated to the victims of the Loch Ard shipwreck—just one of an estimated 700 ships that have sank off this southern coast.More

Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG)

The largest stadium in the Southern Hemisphere and one of the most famous sporting venues in Australia, Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) is more than a Melbourne landmark. The legendary stadium has hosted the Olympic Games, the Commonwealth Games, the annual Boxing Day Test Match, and Australian Football League (AFL) Grand Final.More

Eureka Skydeck 88

A signature Melbourne experience, Eureka Skydeck 88 is a 360-degree viewing platform set atop the 974-foot (274-meter) Eureka Tower. For the daring there’s the Edge, a cantilevered glass cube that slides out from the building, leaving you suspended above the city streets. Vertigo, a green-screen set-up, simulates falling from the building.More

Federation Square

Federation Square, just across from Flinders Street Station, is Melbourne's beating heart and favorite meeting spot. Numerous city events take place here throughout the year, making it a must-visit attraction for all travelers. The square is surrounded by many bars and restaurants, and is home to the Ian Potter Centre, an Australian art museum.More

Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria

Get away from Melbourne’s bustling city center without actually leaving town at the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria. This 89-acre (36-hectare) park is home to more than 8,500 plant species, tranquil lakes, and lush lawns. Join guided walking tours, workshops, or presentations, or feel free to walk around the flourishing oasis on your own.More

St Paul's Cathedral

Located in the heart of Melbourne, St. Paul’s Cathedral is the only neo-Gothic building among a sea of modern structures in Federation Square. Built between 1880 and 1931 to commemorate the location of Melbourne’s first Christian service back in 1836, St. Paul’s features the 2nd-tallest Anglican spire in the world.More

Luna Park Melbourne

First opened in 1912, Luna Park Melbourne is a slice of theme park history. Enter through the mouth of Mr. Moon and ride historic attractions, including the Great Scenic Railway wooden roller coaster. Old-time favorites, such as a ghost train and hall of mirrors, offer thrills to kids, as do bumper cars, carousels, and modern rides.More

Point Nepean National Park

One of Victoria’s most significant landscapes, Point Nepean National Park spans more than 1,000 acres (560 hectares) on the pristine Mornington Peninsula. Visitors can immerse themselves in the coastal views and native grasslands while exploring the rich history of the park. What began as indigenous land became one of the earliest European settlements in Victoria during 1845, then a quarantine station before the site turned into a military center. In addition to its rich culture, the park is host to a world of marine life, including emerald-colored sea shrubs and invertebrates.Discover Victorian landmarks, such as the park’s highest point, Cheviot Hill, overlooking the jetty where Prime Minister Harold Holt disappeared in 1967. History buffs can visit Fort Nepean for panoramic views and explore military fortifications used in both World Wars. Numerous hiking trails and beach walks of varied length start in the park. To get the most out of your trip, visit the park’s information center for a self-guided walk brochure or audio tour equipment.More

Moonlit Sanctuary

Located in the bushlands of Mornington Peninsula, Moonlit Sanctuary is a wildlife conservation park that is home to native Australian wildlife, including koalas, wallabies, kookaburras, and dingos. The sanctuary is most famous for its night tours, which allow visitors to see nocturnal pythons, feathertail gliders, quolls, and more.More

Werribee Open Range Zoo

Australia might be famous for its kangaroos and koalas, but the Werribee Open Range Zoo offers all the excitement of an African safari on Aussie shores. Lions, rhinoceros, giraffes, and gorillas all roam freely in the park’s 494-acre (200-hectare) grasslands, affording visitors some incredible wildlife-watching opportunities.More

Hosier Lane

Once forgotten but now an integral part of Melbourne’s cultural scene, Hosier Lane is home to some of the city’s best street art. The laneway, which cuts between Flinders Street and Flinders Lane, exhibits regularly changing graffiti alongside a series of light boxes that exhibit the work of up and coming contemporary artists.More

Melbourne Zoo

The Melbourne Zoo has been open since 1862, making it Australia's oldest zoo. Modeled after the London Zoo, the Melbourne Zoo houses more than 300 species from around the world, from elephants and lions to Aussie natives like kangaroos and koalas. The zoo is also a conservation center dedicated to fighting wildlife extinction.More

Trip ideas

Ways to See the Great Ocean Road

Ways to See the Great Ocean Road

Top activities in Melbourne

Great Ocean Road Small-Group Ecotour from Melbourne
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Great Ocean Road Reverse Itinerary Boutique Tour - Max 12 People
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Spirit of Melbourne Dinner Cruise
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Spirit of Melbourne Dinner Cruise

Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Melbourne
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Highlights of Melbourne Cruise
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Highlights of Melbourne Cruise

Small-Group Phillip Island Penguin Parade Day Tour from Melbourne
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Melbourne Skydeck Entry Ticket

Melbourne Skydeck Entry Ticket

Complete Melbourne Walking Tour
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Great Ocean Road Reverse Itinerary with 12 Apostles from Melbourne
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Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

Recent reviews from experiences in Melbourne

E-biking a great way to see Melbourne
Alexander_S, Dec 2022
Electric Bike Tour of Melbourne
E-biking is a great way to see Melbourne.
Delightful few hours
Alison_P, Nov 2022
Complete Melbourne Walking Tour
Lovely to see Melbourne with fresh eyes and have a contextual insight.
Beautiful Solo Zoo Experience
Felecia_B, Nov 2022
Melbourne Zoo General Entry Ticket
It was rewarding to see this throughout the zoo.
Recommend this tour
David_R, Nov 2022
Melbourne Skydeck Entry Ticket
Perfect visit to see Melbourne from up above!
Amazing experience
udita_p, Oct 2022
Complete Melbourne Walking Tour
We learnt Melbourne's history and able to see all hidden jewels of Melbourne.
Ivona_R, Oct 2022
Phillip Island Penguin, Brighton Beach, Moonlit Sanctuary from Melbourne
We went for Penguin plus to see the ''mafia'' really close.
Gurpreet_S, Oct 2022
Small-Group Great Ocean Road Classic Day Tour from Melbourne
So much to see and learn.
Marvelous all-day trip
Barbara_L, Sep 2022
Great Ocean Road Reverse Itinerary PREMIUM Tour
Lovely farmlands and forest scenery with a stop to see Koalas out in nature.
Amazing show
Tina_D, Aug 2022
Melbourne Magic Show: Impossible Occurrences Ticket
The entire show was amazing and would recommend to anyone whose in Melbourne to see it.
Melbourne at its finest!
kerry_r, Aug 2022
Melbourne Skydeck Entry Ticket
An excellent way to see the city of Melbourne and its surroundings.
The perfect way to see and eat your way around Melbourne
Helen_B, Jul 2022
Foodies Bucket List - Walking Tour
The perfect way to see Melbourne!
The Great Tour
ckfnhgnh2d, Nov 2022
Great Ocean Road Tour Plus Koalas, Forest Walk And Morning Tea.
These are a lot of stops to see and experience but Adrian masterfully guided us through this tour.
Good experience!
Christina_A, Nov 2022
Great Ocean Road (12 Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge, Gibson Steps) 1-Day Tour
We were visiting for our honeymoon and craved a trip that provided lots to see while in Melbourne!
Excellent ocean road tour from Melbourne
Celeste_S, Nov 2022
12 Apostles Eco-Friendly Great Ocean Road Iconic Adventure from Melbourne
We got to see a koala in a eucalyptus tree at koala cafe.
A wonderful Great Ocean Road daytrip that definitely delivered what was advertised
David_K, Oct 2022
Boutique All-Inclusive Great Ocean Road, 12 Apostles and Rainforest Experience
My wife was really, really excited about the prospect of taking a day trip to see The Great Ocean Road while we were in Melbourne.
A Kind and professional Guide Tour
Keiji_S, Aug 2022
Great Ocean Road Tour Plus Koalas, Forest Walk And Morning Tea.
Especially it was so helpful for non-native English speakers like us that he repeated important matters so that we could understand.
Great finale to a holiday
Rica_B, Aug 2022
Peninsula Hot Springs and Beach Boxes Day Trip
The hot springs itself was so relaxing, and not too busy when we visited, so we managed to out all the pools we wanted as well as the saunas and steam baths.
valerie_t, Jul 2022
Melbourne Sights & Sounds Private Tour
I explained I wanted to see and experience the local culture, and boy, did he come through!
First of all,we would...
Manwinder_S, Jul 2022
Great Ocean Road Small-Group Ecotour from Melbourne
We also thank you GO WEST TOUR for getting us to here and there to see the other side of Melbourne.
Awesome experience
DanielleAnn_O, Jul 2022
Phillip Island Penguin, Brighton Beach, Moonlit Sanctuary from Melbourne
The penguins were the absolute highlight of the day, we were hoping to book an experience where we just went to visit them and cut out the wildlife experience (as we are from Australia and have seen our animals at zoos and parks before).
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All about Melbourne

When to visit

Alfresco dining, music festivals, and night markets mean that there’s always something to do in Melbourne come summertime, and events such as the Australia Day Parade and Christmas Festival Melbourne pull in the crowds. Don’t be put off by a winter visit—low season prices can make a city break more affordable, and Melbourne is well placed for visiting Victoria’s ski resorts.

People Also Ask

What is Melbourne most known for?

Cosmopolitan Melbourne rivals Sydney for the title of Australia’s cultural capital. Consistently topping the list of the world’s most livable cities, Melbourne may have a distinctly European ambience, but it has its own unique vibe, thanks, largely, to its 230-plus laneways where street art and cafe culture flourish.

How many days do I need in Melbourne?

You should aim for a minimum of three days in Melbourne to soak up the city’s atmosphere and see all the most important attractions. If you plan on exploring the surrounding area, and take a day trip to Phillip Island, for example, give yourself five days or more.

What should I not miss Melbourne?

Luna Park, the National Gallery of Victoria, and Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria are all top Melbourne attractions. One of the best things to do is to stroll around the city’s diverse neighborhoods and through the laneways running off the main streets—they are filled with bars, cafes, and street art.

What activities are there in Melbourne?

Melbourne is filled with cultural activities, from seeing Australian, European, and Asian art at the National Gallery of Victoria to checking out street art on a guided tour of the laneways. Outdoor lovers will enjoy strolling around the Royal Botanic Gardens and Fitzroy Gardens and hitting St. Kilda Beach.

What can you do in Melbourne for free?

Some of Melbourne’s top attractions are free to visit, including the National Gallery of Victoria, Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, and State Library of Victoria. You can also take a ride on the City Circle Tram, a free hop-on, hop-off service that runs between Melbourne’s major attractions.

What food is famous in Melbourne?

Rather than a specific dish, Melbourne is known for its diverse culinary offerings. Melbourne’s multicultural population has left its mark on the city’s food scene, and so its food options are endless, from Italian and Greek to Vietnamese and Chinese. The coffee is famously good here, too.

Frequently Asked Questions
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